Following a wave of complaints by users, Microsoft has decided to tweak its upgrade policy for the tech giant's Windows 10 operating system. The company is changing the notices it sends to users of previous versions.
Microsoft wants the number of machines running on its Windows 10 operating system - which has been available since last July - to rise to one billion from the current figure of around 350 million devices.
Getting more people to use the new software is a key element of CEO Satya Nadella's strategy for rebuilding Microsoft's business, which suffered in recent years as PC sales slumped.
Microsoft makes money from Windows 10 features that increase use of Bing, the company's ad-supported search engine. But executives also believe Windows 10 provides a better experience and stronger security. And the company wants to encourage others to write apps for Windows 10 by showing there's a big audience.
However, Microsoft's push to get users to accept the free Windows 10 upgrade triggered a slew of complaints recently, with some PC owners criticizing the company's effort as too aggressive.
Critics say the company sent confusing notices that led some people to inadvertently agree to an upgrade. Microsoft acknowledged the confusion and said notices would now include a clearly marked option to decline.
"Since we introduced a new upgrade experience for Windows 10, we've received feedback that some of our valued customers found it confusing," Windows chief Terry Myerson said in a statement to "The Verge."
The change came too late for a California woman who had sued Microsoft in small claims court. Terri Goldstein, 51, said her Windows 7 desktop got Windows 10 without her knowledge in August. Goldstein says her machine began slowing down drastically, before it crashed and left her unable to recover files she needed for her travel business.
Goldstein won a $10,000 judgment for damages in March, according to court records. Microsoft said it decided not to appeal "to avoid the expense of further litigation."
sri/hg (AP, dpa)